LAHORE  - All the political parties have demanded strict action against the militants of the Tehrike-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for carrying out terrorist activities in the country.

The political parties except Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf are unanimous for using power against Taliban and think it as real solution for eliminating the elements targeting country’s forces and innocent people.

PPP General Secretary and former Punjab Governor Latif Khan Khosa said that from the very first day, his party had the opinion that the TTP was not interested in peace talks. However, he said that they supported talks in APC as the government wanted to exercise the option of negotiations. And since the option did not work, action against the terrorists now remains the only option to combat the menace of terrorism, he added.

While commenting on the recent action of security forces against the militants, ANP spokesman Zahid Khan said that the nation wanted peace in the country as it is tired of terrorism, whether was done through negotiations or action. He said that his party was time and again stating that the government should do immediately whatever it wanted to do to save the country.  He said that the law and order situation was going bad to worse day by day. Criticising the leaderships of PTI and PML-N, he said that both the parties were confused and they were also keeping the nation in ambiguity.  He said if the government thought that US policies were the real reason behind the terrorism in the country, then they should end these policies.

MQM spokesman Wassey Jalil said that his party appreciated the Tuesday’s air strike of security forces against the terrorists.  He said that the MQM believed that action against the militants were the only option and solution for elimination of the menace of the terrorism.

Calling upon for stern action against TTP, he said that there should be immediate action against militants as the delay in the taking action would be harmful for Pakistan.  He said that during the last couple of days, attacks have increased but security forces response was slow and it should be immediate. JUI-F spokesman Jaan Achakzai said that the security forces have right to respond any type of aggression by anybody.

However, he said that collateral damage should be avoided.  He said that the final solution of the issue of terrorism rests in negotiations and not in war. He said sooner or later we have to start talks with the militants.

He said that the recent attacks of Taliban on security forces and Army’s action could further widen the gulf between the two parties.  PTI chief Imran Khan said that the use of power should be the last option and the government should do its best efforts for peace negotiations with the TTP.

JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan, however, expressed concern over the jet bombings in North Waziristan and called for adopting the path of dialogue instead of use of force. In a statement on Tuesday, he said that there were reports of about 40 deaths due to bombings and the casualties could include innocent also.

He said that the government had been talking of dialogue for quite some time but no practical steps were taken in that direction.  He said the APC had given the mandate to the government for talks, however, the rulers were never serious for this. On the other hand, the use of force had been begun immediately which clearly showed that the government had chosen the war path instead of dialogue.

He pointed out that only a couple of days back, PM’s Adviser for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had admitted that even the super power had failed to defeat the Taliban in the war, therefore, dialogue was the only option for Pakistan. He wondered which force was pushing the government into military action. He said, according to the inside story of the Cabinet meeting published in a section of the Press, the Cabinet did not even discuss the talks option.

This implied that the government was keeping the nation and the political parties in the dark in this important matter, he said.

He asked why the APCs decisions were not implemented and why the government was fleeing from talks despite the APC mandate.

He asked the rulers to take a decision after a careful consideration, keeping in mind that terrorism was not confined to North Waziristan now, and had spread to Karachi, Peshawar, Balochistan and even the Punjab. So, is the government in a position to start military action all over the country, he stated.